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Growth in Rich Listers’ wealth defies global slump

Proof, if it was needed, that the country is sailing out of the economic doldrums comes with today’s NBR Rich List for 2011.

The combined wealth of its 151 entrants has climbed a pleasing $7 billion from last year to sit at $45.2 billion, the highest ever.

As NBR marks 25 years of the Rich List, the wealth creators we celebrate today are doing well and that’s vital for a successful New Zealand future.

Alongside the established old family money and commercial risk takers of recent years, we are pleased to recognise new faces.

This is further evidence of the trend in New Zealand to buck global economic despondency and fiscal naysayers. 

Alongside their evident talent at wealth creation, the NBR Rich Listers this year spoke out about their views on New Zealand and what the country needs.

There is a renewed feeling of optimism and a strengthened will to succeed.

“Just get stuck in – you may fail, but what the hell, you won’t succeed if you don’t try,” Todd family scion John Todd told NBR. His family is number three on this year’s list with a valuation of $2.7 billion.

Sir Robert Jones, who is 15th equal on the list, with an increased valuation of $400 million in 2011, is optimistic about New Zealand’s future.

“Compared to most countries, we’re in pretty good shape. There’s a tendency to look toward the downside but I think we’re sober, sensible sort of people who are sensibly plodding on. I’ve been to over 160 countries and we’re pretty good compared to most,” the property investor told NBR.

Sitting pretty in pole position is the highly private but astute international player Graeme Hart who saw his personal wealth climb to $6.5 billion in 2011. Of the 151 entrants on the NBR Rich List in 2011, 99 are men, four women, seven pairs and 41 are families.

Newly available information has seen a number of new people join the list; including the Fulton and Hogan families, Datacom chairman John Holdsworth, founder and chief executive of Les Mills International Philip Mills and wife Jackie, along with Mainfreight co-founder Neil Graham.

The full list can be v

Comments and questions

With this level of imagination you should all go far!

I don't see how this is 'proof'? What... because the top handful of people are getting richer means that we are not in a slump? You have to be blind to see that the rich have always gotten richer, while the poor get poorer. This is ridiculous

To annonymous at 8.11am:

Huh? You'd be better off getting a little richer yourself so you could pay for some remedial education and write coherent sentences.

Eat the rich?

Hart's true worth is nowhere near what is claimed - he runs an Empire of Debt and will be brought down by it in due course.

Exactly right.

Over the years, the Rich List has proven itself to be a reasonable gauge of the state of the rich.

It has not been the true state of the rich however. Too often, debt has not been subtracted from the assets of the highly geared.

Mike Bryers, Dave Henderson, Nigel McKenna etc - they were mega rich a few years ago and suddenly, they were broke. Strange that.

True just like Seripiso's thought he was worth 140 miliion, I probably have a higher net worth then him plus I pay my bills!

You, like sucking on the Lemon of Jealousy?

This article proves just how out of touch NBR is with reality.

Your estimates of wealth cannot be taken as evidence of anything. Reality is the list is more to do with the promotion of the NBR than an estimate of wealth.

Absolutely agree. T
his annual ego rubbing event is becoming tedious and boring.
Why not be a little adventurous and put a bit of effort into some real journalism?

i would doubt any one of these estimates is even close - up or down. i would doubt too many have dropped in a balance sheet stating true numbers... oh i forgot Terry did and they had him at $140M and he was upset as he said he was worth more! oopps TS you dropped off the debt position LOLOLOLOLOL

Rich List skillfully used by some to convey that they are rich and successful so they can take in more money from investors, banks etc.

When they are not rich at all.

"You are fired." NZ style

Just more proof trickle down is a myth!
The money pours up into the fat cat coffers!
Capitalism will fail mark my words!

Well done all you Rich Listers! I hope you enjoy your millions while many NZers can't afford to buy food or clothing or pay for heating or put food on the table for their kids... but as long as you're on the Rich List that's the main thing and oh so clearly an indiciation that NZ is doing just fine! Oh and taking those risks with a 'who cares if you fail' attitude is much easier when you have a lot of money already behind you...

Many take risks, some fail, some succeed. Should the government disallow all from risk taking to appease the 'Average NZer' not prepared to chance their hand at anything?

Why so bitter???

What a cop out. There is nothing stopping anyone bettering themselves other than the personal will power to do it. What you fail to recognise is not all of us want a life of average and hence through tenacity, willpower and desire will do better than others. Your choice in online name clearly trumpets your attitiude to life.

Unfortunately I am not a Rich Lister yet! But I hope to get there through strategic planning; focusing on what my company can be the best at and hard work. If I was to take the tall poppy attitude I will never realise my dream.
Good on the Rich Listers, we need more!!!


is 'tall poppy' the most over used cliche in NZ?


An amusing little read each year - The seriously wealthy that I know of go to great pains to avoid appearing on this list and in fact any list that will alert IRD. Of most importance how does one ensure they spend as much time as possible in New Dulland, seems too many discover the delight of travel and the company of others in Europe, Carribean or North America.

Where can one find this so called list, is it available on line???

It is online at

Mahatma Gandhi "It is difficult but not impossible to conduct strictly honest business. What is true is that honesty is incompatible with the amassing of a large fortune"

The richer you are can mean the harder you may fall as often been the case !!!!!